Date: 15 May 2003
it at Amazon
Historical Romance [1818, London]
Rachel A Hyde
of the World
to being a real fan of historical romances, and for ages now I have
been hoping that they would come back into fashion again this side
of the Atlantic Ocean. One swallow does not make a summer, but maybe
I might get my wish if this treat becomes a bestseller. I think
that it deserves to. Like Georgette Heyer, it gives this much-maligned
genre a good name with meticulous research, an intelligent, insightful
heroine and a keen sense of fun. It is ostensibly the sequel to
Pride and Prejudice, as the five daughters of Mr. Darcy and his
wife Lizzie have been sent from Pemberley in Derbyshire to the fleshpots
of London. While their parents are overseas, their cousin and his
wife act in loco parentis, but the delights of the Season mean something
different to all of them and keeping them out of trouble is going
to be a full-time job.
Sensible Camilla yearns for adventure,
and a husband who won't censure her love of books and intelligent
activities, but this is a novel that does more than just treat the
reader to a round of giddy parties and fan-fluttering misses. It
shows how limited the options were for young women whose narrow
confines contrasted sharply with the wider sphere of a man's domain.
Society looks to be fun on the surface, but it is bound by the rigid
rules of propriety which will forgive no lapses on the part of women.
This makes it all sound rather gloomy, but it is not a tub-thumping
feminist tract; instead, sit back and enjoy a novel that is a more
complete experience than the average Regency, replete with lush
descriptions and thoughtful insights. I do hope that this will set
the stage for more of this sort of thing.